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Chili and CI

InksmythInksmyth Posts: 308
edited 3:33PM in EggHead Forum
Hi All!
I have recently seen chili recipes that call for cooking in cast iron. I thought acid foods cooked in CI
would pick up off flavors and damage the cure on the Ci.
What are your thoughts. I would hate to ruin a good pot of chili.


  • Doing Tennessee Sunshine Chili as I try to type. I only use stainless steel for Chili. Others will chime in and offer advice. Miles out. Add lot's O Hot stuff, makes you sweat sooooooo good.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,923
    I've often wondered the same about CI. Years ago I invested in a set of Caphalon pots (back when they offered a life-time warrantee) only to find that certain foods, tomato sauce, for one, would eat holes in them. After a few replacements, their policy reverted to 'YOYO' (you're on your own)! Turned out to be hi-priced cr*p! I doubt that you'd do permanent damage to your CI but you might have to go through the hassle of a thorough cleaning and reseasoning. My response is only a guess as I have no actual experience with this matter. It was also a convenient avenue to vent my extreme displeasure with *%^$%@&;&^ Caphalon! Good luck!
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    It isn't going to hurt the chili or the cast iron unless you let it sit in the CI for days on end.

    Cook it in the CI, then transfer it to another non-reactive vessel and you'll be fine.

    Yes, I have read that acidic foods can compromise the seasoning on a CI pan, but I've never seen it happen.
  • Chili is no good unless you get that little trickle of sweat running down the back of your neck!!!
  • SmokeySmokey Posts: 2,468
    Don't know about the acid and all, but my CI has developed a ... maybe the word is patina.

    I often do chili in a 5 qt dutch oven (both regular and white chili) and have good success.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,923
    Yea, but when it drips off my forehead and into my eyes, it's a little much!! 8 - )
  • Also' " A little sweat on a woman is good". Farra Faucett. Spelling ???
  • I cook on CI inside and on the BGE. I will usually cook acidic things in pans/dutch ovens that have been well seasoned. I have had to re-season some since I probably didn't get a good initial seasoning. The more you use it the better it gets.
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    I cook chilli in CI all the time.Works great.I have had to resason on occasion.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,947
    i use alot of tomatoes and probably cook the chili longer than most, 8 to 10 hours and sometimes more. the extra tomatoes and extra long cook will wreck even the best seasoned pot you have, quick cooks with canned beans and less tomatoes probably wouldnt. i taste metal when i cook with castiron and tomatoes, get and enameled cast iron pot at marshals, they are usually found there cheaper than most places. i know lots of people will say the castion is fine for this as long as they are well seasoned, but ill challenge this, send me your well seasoned pot and ill lift that seasoning right out, ive even wrecked preseasoned lodges with tomatoes.
  • Have to agree with those that are saying it will take the patina off the CI. Have done so many times, but only when I cooked it long or forgot to take the chili out of the CI pot. Tomatoes and CI do not mix, but boy the chili does have a great flavor. Porcelin CI is good substitute but you just don't get the flavor.

    I'll prob keep doing it, and just reseason the pot if and when I have too.

    Good luck. Nothing beats chili on the egg...just something extra (hmmm maybe a bit of the smoke) :)

    Just did a batch this weekend, was the best I've done and was my first on the egg in a CI 5qt dutch oven, Well seasoned...only 3 hours and took it off and transferred to a nice glass bowl and cleaned the DO after it cooled a bit.

    good luck again
  • I'm with fishlessman here.

    Leave tomatoes in a reactive metal like aluminum or cast iron for more than a little bit, and I definitely taste metal. Heat accelerates the process.

    I'm not sure I'd put my "indoors" stainless steel in the Egg, but enameled cast iron is inexpensive enough that it makes sense to use it if you're a serious chili-phile.
  • Thanks for the input. I would hate to start from scratch seasoning my dutch oven. After 20 years it is better then teflon! I have had chili cooked in CI before. I can pick up the taste. Have to try my enamel cookware.
  • Does the smoke stain clean off the enamel surface reasonably well?
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,947
    i use the le creuset in there, let it soak in the sink and it washes right off, or you can clean it right away and work at it.
  • Interesting post as well as Fishlessman's comments.

    I've cooked tomatoes and tomato based food in the CI DO a lot. I haven't noticed any harm to the seasoning or any metallic taste.

    Now with that said my cooks generally do not go over 3 to 4 hours.

    I tried calling Lodge to get their input but no phone number available so I emailed them. It will be interesting to see how they weigh in on the subject.

  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,978
    I cook mine in my Lodge CI all the time and the seasoning on the DO is fine.

    Real chili does not contain tomatoes. There it is, plain fact. No tomatoes.

    Meat and spices are all that is needed. Maybe throw in some beans but, they are actually meant to be served on the side.

    Chili with tomatoes indeed!
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,947
    ive made real chili before, its good stuff, wonder how it would be for a chili contest in newengland were everyone thinks there is supposed to be tomatoes and beans in it. i keep wanting to try this recipe, but never seem to remember it when the time comes. no tomatoes
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 24,947
    i did sauce once in a preseasoned lodge and it bubbled up all over the surface. had to sand it out and heat it up several times to get all the seaoning off it, alot of work, i stick only to the type you season your self now. i also ruined a batch of that red southern soup, cant remember the name of the stuff, but the seasoning in my big dutch oven lifted off in pieces about the size of a postage stamp and smaller and ruined the batch. i do believe it has a lot to do with the length of the cook, i use dried beans alot and to get them tender it takes along time
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,978
    Now that's one I have never heard of!

    Copied it off and I'll give it a try one of these cool New England afternoons.
  • Thank you for the follow up...

    I have not purchased any pre-seasoned ovens/skillets, mine are too old. I had wondered how well the pre-seasoned pans were. I think I would clean burn and re-season even a pre-seasoned pan/skillet.

  • bubba timbubba tim Posts: 3,216
    Kent, did you see your ping?
    SEE YOU IN FLORIDA, March 14th and 15th 2014 You must master temp, smoke, and time to achive moisture, taste, and texture! Visit for BRISKET HELP
  • How about a recipe for REAL Chili?
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